Hillary Clinton is a bad presidential candidate. The American electorate does not like her. The American electorate doesn’t trust her. There remain legitimate questions regarding her role in Benghazi, her relationship with Wall Street, what her actual position is on TPP and free trade, exactly how she plans to fix the Affordable Care Act, her use of a private email server as well as other issues which concern a large portion of the public. Recent releases of Clinton’s emails by Wikileaks bring many of these problems to the fore. They show that even her own campaign was concerned about these issues at the onset of her candidacy. They favored Donald Trump as the Republican nominee because she was weak in numerous areas.
They favored Donald Trump because he is a very bad presidential candidate. His policies, actions and rhetoric have ostracized women, minorities and his fellow Republicans. He has openly criticized and run away from his own party. What few policies he does seem to have make no sense. He is also threatening to undermine democracy. Concerns have even been expressed that Trump’s performance as a candidate will be so poor that he will drag down the rest of the Republican ticket. Especially if his performance in the polls and odds of winning continue to appear dire. And his chances don’t seem as though they will improve considering he doesn’t listen to advice and his campaign is seemingly understaffed and poorly organized.
Running for political office is a skill. A skill neither candidate seems to possess. This is why both candidates are disliked by America. This is why millions of Americans are considering voting for a third party. This is why this election has been widely described as a “lesser of two evils” outcome. Even the parties have advocated for their candidate on the basis of “look how bad the other guy is,” rather than actually promoting their candidate.
However, despite all of these issues with both presidential candidates, there is a difference between a candidate and a president. Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will win the election. Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be president. When casting a vote on November 8th the question to ask isn’t whether you liked the candidate, it’s how good of president will they be?
There may be some concern that Hillary Clinton only advocates the politically advantageous position, that her expressed views are not truly her own. However, she has been endorsed by virtually every newspaper editorial board in the country as well as by other editorial boards, even those which had never endorsed a Democrat and those which have never endorsed anybody. Many of these endorsements point out that Clinton is smart, experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic. They also recognize that she has numerous weaknesses and her lead over Trump would most likely be much larger if she were a better candidate, and if many experts did not believe Donald Trump would make America worse off, make America less safe and make the world worse off and less safe.
But political behavior is subjective. Much of it is based on non-conscious decisions. People are wont to disagree, whether because of socio-economic status, partisanship, political sophistication, age or gender. So read the candidates’ policy proposals. Read expert opinions on these proposals. Fact check these proposals as well as what the candidates say. Get information from multiple sources.
Understand that you’re not voting for a candidate, you’re voting for a president.